OMSI has raised 60 percent of the target fundraising goal to open a 20-acre Coastal Discovery Center in Newport, OR. Projected to open in 2016, the Center will offer classes and outdoor camps for schools to get hands-on experience with marine science.
An expected 5,000 children and their families will learn about everything from dune ecology to ocean observation to wave energy generation technologies, and even sustainable fishing each year.
“The facility is a camp site and living laboratory that’s really focused on surveying families and children,” says Tess Payne, OMSI’s Senior Director of Marketing. “For example, during the spring and fall, school groups will come together as classes for outdoor programming. A fifth grade class might travel to the facility for learning through any of our camps.”
Oregon developer John Gray and Investors XII have donated $2.3 million to the cause with the Wollenberg Foundation, the Oregonian Community Foundation, and individual Oregonians pitching in the rest. OMSI hopes to raise a total of $10 million prior to breaking ground.
“Our hope is that the outdoor camps and summer camps will enhance Newport’s reputation,” Payne says.